Dr. John M. Kennish

Professor of Chemistry
Office: CPSB 302 H
Phone: (907) 786-1236


John M. Kennish, Ph.D. is an environmental analytical chemist who grew up in southern New Jersey.  He was president of his high school senior class and earned varsity letters in football.  Dr. Kennish has lived in eastern, southern, midwestern, and northwestern sections of the U.S. He arrived in Alaska in 1979 for the fishing and to teach at a then small University of Alaska Anchorage.


Ph.D. in Environmental Analytical Chemistry, Portland State University, 1978

M.S. in Chemistry, Shippensburg State University, 1973

B.A. in Chemistry, Rutgers University, 1967

Career History

7/88 - Present University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of Chemistry/Physics
Professor of Chemistry
Department Chairperson: Dr. Eric Holmberg

Served as department chair from May 83 through May 85 and from July 89 through June 90.

9/88 - 5/89 Oregon State University, Toxicology Program, Agricultural
Visiting Professor

7/83 - 7/88 University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of Chemistry/Physics
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Department Chairperson: Dr. Donald Martins

8/79 - 7/83 University of Alaska Anchorage, Chemistry Department
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Department Chairperson: Dr. John P. Harrington

11/77 - 8/79 University of Oregon Health Science Center, Pharmacology Department
Portland, Oregon
Research Associate
Research Supervisor: Dr. Robert K. Lynn

9/73 - 10/77 Portland State University, Chemistry Department, Portland, Oregon
Graduate Teaching Assistant
Research Supervisor: Dr. David K. Roe

5/74 - 9/74 U.S. Geological Survey, Portland, Oregon
Supervisor: Stewart McKenzie
Nutrient Analyses were conducted during the Geological
Survey's Willamette River - Water Quality Assessment Study

9/72 - 8/73 Shippensburg State University, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania
Graduate Teaching Assistant
Research Supervisor: Dr. Eugene Deardorff

6/68 - 8/72 E.I. dupont de Nemours & Company, Wilmington, Delaware
During these four years I held positions as both a chemist and production supervisor at various locations. In my last position I was responsible for twenty production personnel. Experience included explosives, acid and Dacron production.

Teaching Responsibilities

General Chemistry (CHEM 105 - 106) This course covers all the basic concepts of chemistry. The concepts at this level can be reinforced nicely through use of examples which relate chemistry to environmental, health and industrial problems. (Last taught, Fall 2012).

Quantitative Analysis (CHEM 312) This course covers chemical equilibria, acid base titrations, statistical methods, chromatography, etc. The course is heavily laboratory oriented with six hours of lab each week. (Last taught, Fall 2011)

Instrumental Methods of Analysis (CHEM 434) This course should cover as many instrumental methods as possible in one semester and probably should be extended to a full year where analytical majors are numerous. Methods should include GC, HPLC, GC MS, electrochemical techniques, etc. This course offers a good opportunity to develop understanding of instrumental parameters while reinforcing many of the principles of physical chemistry. (Last taught, Spring 2013).

Environmental Chemistry (CHEM 450) Topics such as the origin of the environment, energy, mineral resources, solid wastes, recycling, and the effects of foreign substance on living systems will be covered in addition to the more conventional environmental chemistry related to air and water pollution. Quantitative chemical principles will be applied to all these problems. The interrelationships among these problems will be demonstrated. (Last taught, Spring 2013).

Chemical Ecotoxicology (CHEM 460/660) The study of relationships between the observed levels of chemicals in the environment and their biological effects. Special attention will be given to persistent toxic compounds, the dependence of their fate on their physical and chemical properties, and the environmental conditions that regulate their breakdown, movement, transport and ultimate fate. (Last taught, Spring 2012)

Research Interests

Some of Dr. Kennish's research interests include:

- Metabolism of toxic, mutagenic, and carcinogenic compounds by Cytochrome P-450 in fish.

- Fish biochemistry associated with lipids and fatty acids.

- Alaska Native diets and dietary health effects of fatty acid metabolism.

- Application of modern instrumental methods, including GC-MS, LC-MS/MS, ICP-MS.

- Environmental studies, including phthalates in the marine environment.


  1. Diester Metabolites of the flame retardant Chemicals, Tris and Fyrol-FR2 in the Rat: Identification and Quantification. R.K. Lynn, K. Wong, R.G. Dickinson, N. Gerber, J.M. Kennish, Res. Comm. 28, 351 (1980).
  2. Metabolism of Bisazobiphenyl Dyes Derived form Benzidine, 3,3'- Dimethylbenzidine or 3,3'- Dimethoxybenzidine to Carcinogenic Aromatic Amines in the Dog and Rat, R.K. Lynn, D.W. Donielson, A.J. Ilias, J.M. Kennish, K. Wong, and H.B. Mathews, Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 56, 24 (1980).
  3. Disposition of the Flame Retardant Chemical Tris (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate in the Rat, R.K. Lynn, K. Wong, C. Garne Gould, and J.M. Kennish, Drug Metabolism and Disposition, 9, 434 (1981).
  4. Metabolism Distribution and Excretion of the Flame Retardant, Tris(2,3-dibromopropyl)phosphate in the Rat: Identification of Mutagenic and Nephrotoxic Metabolites, Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, R.K. Lynn, K. Wong, C. Garne Gould, J.M. Kennish, 63, 105 (1982).
  5. Nephrotoxicity of the Metabolites of the Flame Retardant, Tris(2,3-dibromopropyl)phosphate, W.C. Elliott, R.K. Lynn, D.C. Hougton, J.M. Kennish and W.M. Bennett, Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 62, 179 (1982)
  6. Trace Metal Ion Activities from Liquid Liquid Partitioning Measurements, J.M. Kennish and D.K. Roe, Journal of Physical Chemistry, 87, 5158 (1983).
  7. Trace Water Soluble Components from Prudhoe Bay Crude Oil: Chemical Characterization and Mutagenicity, J.M. Kennish and S.B. French, Marine Environ. Res., 14, 506 (1984).
  8. Peroxyoxalate Chemiluminescence Detection of Polycyclic Aromatic Amines in Liquid Chromatography, K.W. Sigvardson, J.M. Kennish and J.W. Birks, Anal. Chem. 56, 1096 (1984).
  9. Metabolic Conversion of Cyclohexane by Pacific Salmon Microsomal Preparations, J.M. Kennish, C. Montoya, J. Whitsett and J.S. French, Marine Environ. Res., 17, 129 (1985).
  10. High Levels of Phenolic Compounds in Prochloron spp. W.R. Barclay, J.M. Kennish, V.M. Goodrich, and R. Fall, Phytochemistry, 26, 739 (1987).
  11. A Review of High-Pressure Liquid Chromatographic Methods for Measuring Nucleotide Degradation in Fish Muscle, J.M. Kennish and D.E. Kramer, in Seafood Quality Determination, D.E. Kramer and J. Liston Eds., Developments in Food Science, 15, 209 (1987).
  12. Fish Oil Analysis Using Combined Thin Layer Chromatography and Flame Ionization Detection (TLC-FID), J.F. Whitsett, J.M. Kennish, D.E Kramer and J.S. French, in Seafood Quality Determination, D.E. Kramer and J. Liston, Eds., Developments in Food Science, 15, 161 (1987).
  13. Using Headspace Sampling With Capillary Column GC-MS to Analyze Trace Volatile Organics in Water and Wastewater, D.E. Gryder Boutet and J.M. Kennish, J. of the American Water Works Association, 80, 52 (1988).
  14. Metabolism of Toluene and Ethylbenzene in Pacific Salmon Microsomal Preparations, John M. Kennish, Debora Gillis and Krystal Hotaling, Marine Environ. Res., 24, 69 (1988).
  15. Calibration of Thin-Layer Chromatography with Flame Ionization Detection for the Analysis of Natural Lipid Samples, J.F Whitsett and J.M. Kennish, J. Chromatography, 435, 343 (1988).
  16. Protein Hydrolysis in Coho and Sockeye Salmon During Partially Frozen Storage, J.S. French, D.E. Kramer and J.M. Kennish, J. Food Sci. 53, 1014 (1988).
  17. The Role of Iron Chelates in the NAD(P)H-dependent Oxidation of 2 keto 4 thiomethylbutyric acid (KMBA) by Rainbow Trout and Pacific Salmon Microsomal Fractions, J.M. Kennish, S. Netzel and M.L. Russell, Marine Environ. Res. 28, 87 (1989).
  18. Differences in Lipid, Fatty Acid and Cholesterol Levels Among Tissues and Stocks for Pen reared King Salmon fed on a Commercial Diet, J.M. Kennish, J.L. Sharp, K.E. Chambers, W.J. Whipple, and S. Rice, Chapter 6. In Seafood Science and Technology, Graham Bligh, ed., Fishing News Books, Blackwell Scientific Publishing Ltd. Oxford England, pp. 46-57 (1992).
  19. The Effects of Exsanguination of Sockeye Salmon on the Changes in Lipid Composition During Frozen Storage, P.J. Porter, J.M. Kennish and D.E. Kramer, Chapter 9, In Seafood Science and Technology, Graham Bligh, ed., Fishing News Books, Blackwell Scientific Publishing Ltd. Oxford, England, pp. 76-83 (1992).
  20. UDP-Glucuronosyltransferase Activity in Chinook Salmon (O. tshawytscha), R.A. Bolinger and J.M. Kennish, Marine Environ. Res. 34, 227 (1992).
  21. Xenobiotic Metabolizing Enzyme Activities in Sockeye Salmon (O. nerka) During Spawning Migration, J.M. Kennish, R.A. Bolinger, K.A. Chambers and M.L. Russell, Marine Environ. Res. 34, 293 (1992).
  22. Lipid Composition of Sockeye Salmon: A Comparison of Light and Dark Flesh, P.J. Porter, D.E. Kramer and J.M. Kennish, I. J. Food Sci. Technol., I. J. Food Sci. Technol., 27, 365 (1992).
  23. The Effect of a Herring Diet on Lipid Composition, Fatty Acid Composition, and Cholesterol Levels in the Muscle Tissue of Pen-Reared Chinook Salmon (O. tshawytscha), J.M. Kennish, J.L. Sharp-Dahl, K.A. Chambers, F. Thrower and S.D. Rice, Aquaculture, 108, 309 (1992).
  24. Cytochrome P-450IA1 Induction in Sculpin as An Indicator of Pollutant Exposure in the Kenai River Alaska. C. Evans-Paige and J.M. Kennish, Marine Environ. Res., 39, 225 (1995).
  25. Diabetes is Related to Fatty Acid Imbalance in Eskimos. S.O.E. Ebbesson, J.M. Kennish, L. Ebbesson, O. Go and J. Yeh. Int. J. Circumpolar Health, 58, 108 (1999).
  26. Quantitative Analysis of Perchlorate in Water and Fish Tissue Extracts by Ion Chromatography: Comparison of Suppressed conductivity detection and Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry. E.D. Dodds, J. M. Kennish, F.A. von Hipple, R. Bernhardt, and M. E. Hines. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 379:881-887 (2004).
  27. Microscale Recovery of Total Lipids from Fish Tissue by Accelerated Solvent Extraction Eric D. Dodds, Mark R. McCoy, Adeline Geldenhuys, Lorrie D. Rea, John M. Kennish. J. American Oil Chemists Society 81: 385-340 (2004).
  28. Gas Chromatographic Analysis of Fatty Acid Methyl Esters: Quantitation by Flame Ionization Detection Versus Mass Spectrometric Methods, Eric D. Dodds, Mark R. McCoy, Lorrie D. Rea, and John M. Kennish, Lipids 40: 419-428 (2005).
  29. Proton Transfer Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry of fatty acid methyl esters separated by gas chromatography: Quantitative Aspects, Eric D. Dodds, Mark R. McCoy, Lorrie D. Rea, and John M. Kennish, Eur. J. Lipid Sci Technol. 107:560-564 (2005).
  30. Eskimos have CHD despite high consumption of omega-3 fatty acids: the Alaska Siberia project, Sven O.E. Ebbesson, Patricia M. Risica, Lars O.E Ebbesson and John M. Kennish, Int. J. Circumpolar Health 64: 387-395 (2005).
  31. Omega-3 fatty acids improve glucose tolerance and components of the metabolic syndrome in Alaskan Eskimos: The Alaska Siberia project, Sven O.E. Ebbesson, Patricia M. Risica, Lars O.E Ebbesson, John M. Kennish, and M. Elizabeth Tejero, Int. J. Circumpolar Health 64: 396-408 (2005).
  32. A successful diabetes prevention study in Eskimos: The Alaska Siberia project, Sven O.E. Ebbesson, Patricia M. Risica, Lars O.E Ebbesson, John M. Kennish, and David C. Robbins, Int. J. Circumpolar Health 64: 409-424 (2005).
  33. Determining tannin-protein precipitation capacity using accelerated solvent extraction (ASE) and microplate gel filtration, Scott H. McArt, Donald Spalinger, John M. Kennish and William B. Collins, J. Chem. Ecology, Online May (2006).
  34. Enrichment of chlorinated fatty acids from lipid class fractions using an SPE-based method, Mathew D. King, Lorrie D. Rea and John M. Kennish, Lipids 41: 1133-1140 (2006).
  35. Blubber fatty acid profiles reveal regional, seasonal, sex and age-class differences in the diet of young Steller sea lions in Alaska. Carrie A. Beck , Lorrie D Rea, Sara J. Iverson, John M. Kennish, Kenneth W. Pitcher1 and Brian Fadley, Mar Ecol Prog Ser 338: 269-280 (2007).
  36. Heart rate is associated with markers of fatty acid desaturation: the GOCADAN study, Sven O.E. Ebbesson, Juan Carlos Lopez-Alvarenga, Peter M. Okin, Richard B. Devereux, Elizabeth Tejero, William S. Harris, Lars O.E. Ebbesson, Jean W. MacCluer, Charlotte Wenger, Sandra Laston, Richard R. Fabsitz, John Kennish, William J. Howard, Barbara V. Howard, Jason Umans, Anthony G. Comuzzie, Int. J. Circumpolar Health, 71: 2012.
  37. Vorugariti, Higgins, Ebbesson, Kennish, Goring, Haack, Laston, uaogelenko, Wenger, Harris, Fabsitz, Devereaux, MacCluer, Curran, Carless, Johnson, Moses, Blanzero, Ulmons, Howard, Cole, Comuzzie, Variants in CPT1A, FADS1, and FADS2 are associated with higher levels of estimated plasma and erythrocyte delta 5 desaturases in Alaskan Eskimos, Frontiers in Applied Genetic Epidemiology, Front. Gene. 3:86. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2012.00086.
  38. Carnahan, A. M., Spalinger, D. E., Kennish, J. M. and Collins, W. B. (2012), Extraction and analysis of plant alkanes and long-chain alcohols using accelerated solvent extraction (ASE). Wildlife Society Bulletin. doi: 10.1002/wsb.222.
  39. New insights into harbor seal predation on depressed fish stocks revealed by quantitative fatty acid signature analysis, Jeffrey F. Bromaghin, Monique M. Lance, Elizabeth W. Elliott, Steven J. Jeffries, Alejandro Acevedo-Gutierrez, and John M. Kennish, Fishery Bulletin 111(1):13-26, 2013.
  40. Bromaghin, J.F., Lance, M.M., Elliott, E.W., Jeffries, S.J., Kennish, J.M., Acevedo Gutiérrez, A. Nonparametric estimation of mean diet composition using fatty acid signature data, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, Submitted 2013.
  41. Ali, S., Kennish, J.M., Hagedorn, B., and Applegate, B. Phthalates Determination in Marine Tissue Using Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass-Spectrometry with an Atmospheric Pressure Photo Ionization Source (APPI). International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry, Submitted 2013.